Children have played a huge role in tobacco advertising over the decades, and images of children fulfill multiple purposes for tobacco advertisers. Depictions of children with their mothers or fathers in cigarette advertisements reinforce the respectability of smoking as a part of normal family life.
In an advertisement for Dutch Masters Cigars, the image is a warm one of a cheerful boy happy in the embrace of his father. The text of the advertisement reads, “A son’s hug… a daughter’s kiss… what is so dear to a father’s heart as his family’s love.” For Father’s Day, Dutch Masters also had cigar packs with the image of a father and son printed on it. In another advertisement for Dutch Masters, the image is of a young boy playing in the backyard of his suburban home. On one hand he is carrying a toy truck, while the other hand is carrying a string of empty Dutch Master cartons. In the background, you see his younger sister on the swing.
In yet another ad by the cigar maker, this one Christmas theme, a dad is sitting around smoking his cigar while his children (boy and girl) are setting up a toy city. Empty Dutch Master boxes are used to build the homes and garages. The text of the advertisement notes, “As soon as dad hands over another empty Dutch Masters box, one more house will start to rise. And this is a building boom that dad’s happy to help along-because he finds consistent pleasure in a full box of Dutch Masters.”
The images of youngsters tends to send a reassuring message to consumers about the healthfulness of the product, representing purity, vibrancy, and life concepts which can be dangerous when tied to tobacco products. Use of children are an obvious ploy to attract females to smoking as part of the industry’s campaign to expand the pool of women smokers.